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Chapter Twenty-Four Nonhuman Primates
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Nonhuman Primates 1% of total no. vertebrates used in research > 250 nonhuman primate species Anthropoids = humans, apes & monkeys Prosimians = all other primates African & Asian origin = Old World monkeys rhesus, cynomolgus & baboon eyes set close together nostrils open downward cheek pouches some have callous pads on their buttocks
Nonhuman Primates II South & Central America = New World monkeys squirrel monkeys, owl monkeys & marmosets long prehensile tail to help them climb nostrils open to the front or sides Sometimes purchased as conditioned animals captured in the wild, held in captivity. Increasing % used in research annually in US are bred in this country.
Handling & Restraint Susceptible to many human diseases. Carriers of many diseases which infect humans. for example, Herpes B virus which may be fatal in humans Always wear lab coat or gown, mask, eye or face shield, gloves, cap & protective footwear. Regard even playful, friendly NHP w/ caution. Handle using chemical restraint, heavy leather gloves or pole & collar device. Adult male of large species less dangerous by trimming or removing canine teeth.
Handling & Restraint II Physical restraint for animals weighing < 9 kg: Wear heavy, double-layer gloves w/ long armlets. Hold forearms behind back w/ 1 hand, extend legs firmly w/ other hand. Chemical restraint: immobilize in squeeze cage, injecting drug into arm or leg through cage door. Ketamine hydrochloride is drug most commonly used.
Physiological Data Data for rhesus & cynomolgus monkeys, most common primates used in research Body temperature: 98.6°-103.1°F Heart rate: / min. Respiratory rate: / min. Weight: adult 6-11 kg; newborn 550 gm Water consumption: ml / day Food consumption: gm / day Life span: years
(Image) Restraint and Exam
Sexing & Breeding Male has externally visible, pendulous penis w/ testes in scrotal sac; female has vulva. Male larger & more aggressive than female. The selection of a breeding program depends on the species and the purpose for which they are being mated. Monogamous & harem mating for increased production. Old World female has menstrual periods similar to human female. New World female has estrous cycle similar to other animals.
Sexing & Breeding II Most birth 1 baby at a time, usually at night. Most females good mothers, raise offspring with little aid. Occasionally mothers abandon or mistreat young, necessitating separation & hand raising infant. females known to adopt abandoned infants. Sexual maturity: 4-5 years Estrous cycle: 28 days Gestation: days Litter size: 1 (marmosets often have twins) Weaning: months
Behavior Social benefit by contact & communication w/ same species. Inquisitive, grab anything within reach. Keep small items concealed. Body language & behavior peculiar to species. Can tell mental & physical health from body language. Usually sit on buttocks or lie on resting perch. Outdoors, enjoy sunning in a variety of positions. Sleep sitting up w/ head bowed or lying on side. Walk quadrupedally or bipedally.
Husbandry Group or individually housed Play w/ their feces & food. Cleaning may take > time than w/ other species. Food greasy & can cause slippery floor. Cage must meet 2 important criteria: Material must withstand attempts to gnaw & pull apart. Door fastener must be secured w/ padlock. Squeeze cage for blood collection, drug administration & other manipulations Sanitize every 2 wks.
(Images) Gang Housing
Husbandry II Separate incoming primates from animals already in facility. House in small groups of less than / room. Assign a number & start medical record. Observe for signs of illness, TB test & screen for enteric pathogens. Quarantine period for days Very susceptible to tuberculosis TB tests more than 2x / year. intradermally into eyelid Redness or swelling at injection site may indicate TB.
Husbandry III Environmental enrichment necessary opportunity to behave as though they were wild House groups of monkeys together. not always possible due to space limitations, incompatible animals (adult males) & research project requirements Provide animals w/ toys, food treats, contact w/ other monkeys & interaction w/ personnel.
Diet Most use commercial monkey food. Diet of New World monkeys should contain adequate vitamin C & vitamin D3. Give daily food allowance in 2 or 3 equal portions throughout day. Supplement w/ fruits and vegetables Supplement New World monkey diets w/ natural foods such as fruit & nuts. Teach juveniles & adults to use automatic watering valve by adjusting valve to leak slightly. Start hand-reared newborns on bottle w/ sipper tube, switch to automatic devices when older.
Additional Reading Bennett, B.T., C.R. Abee, R. Henrickson. Nonhuman Primates in Biomedical Research: Biology and Management. Academic Press, San Diego, CA Fortman, Jeffrey D., B. Taylor Bennett and Terry A. Hewett. The Laboratory Non-Human Primate. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL